ROBERTSON RACES THROUGH AGAINST DOTT
NEIL Robertson brushed aside the challenge of Graeme Dott to book himself a place in the draw for the last 32 here in Glasgow.
Robertson, relishing the sprint format of the first to 3 frames quickly rattled off the first frame with breaks of 48 and 22 with Dott struggling to establish any rhythm. The last time these two locked horns which was in the world final in Sheffield saw the match concluded at 12.55 in thr morning. This took a fraction of that time.
Robertson, who had suffered defeats in Germany and Shanghai was anxious to avoid another early exit as he won a tactical second frame and looked for all the world that he was going to complete a 3-0 victory over the man from Larkhall. But Dott was not in any mood to surrender quietly and after Robertson left Graeme needing a snooker in the third frame extracted a free ball from the Aussie when he left the red hidden behind the black with the cue ball behind the brown. Robertson bungled his escape and to make matters worse left a free ball for the former world champion. Taking full advantage of the slip up from the Austalian Dott stroked in the brown as his free ball and cleared with a break of 42 to pinch the frame 69-68.
Could Graeme sustain his recovery – the answer was an emphatic no as he took a rash swipe at the reds and left Robertson with a short range red to the corner. As Robertson fired in the red Graeme must have a had a sense of what weas to follow as Neil confidently pieced together a break of 103 to win 3-1.
CARTER FOILS UN NOOH BID
ALI Carter continued his fine run of form when he saw off the challenge of Thepchaya Un Nooh 3-1.
Carter who won the Shanghai Masters, beating Jamie Burnett in the final looked full of confidence as he made his entrance into the arena against the wildcard from Thailand.
Un Nooh though is not without a pedigree as a former world amateur champion but found himself up against a man who has moved up to number two in the new world rankings. And he was to pay dearly for a missed black as Carter took swift advantage to take the opening frame 67-41.
But if Ali thought he would be in for a straightforward win he was given a scare by Un Nooh who took the second frame with a break of 67. But any worries that Carter fans may have had about it being High Noon for Ali were to be swiftly dispelled as Carter moved 2-1 in front, leaving himself just one frame from victory.
But it was Un Nooh who will surely be kicking himself at not forcing a decider whern on a break of 47 twitched on a pink to the centre – as the the pink veered past the pocket so the stage was set for a counter attack from Carter. Carter though could only make 45 leaving the frame to be decided on the colours. Un Nooh hammered in a long yellow and followed with green and brown – but then left himself the wrong side of the blue. The cue ball rather than being in close proximity to the pink was now just off the side cushion.
To gasps Un Nooh missed allowing Carter to re-establish control of the frame when he forced a safety error from the Thai player. Leaving the pink close to the corner pocket Carter sunk it and followed with the black to wrap up a 3-1 victory and put himself into the hat for the next round. On this form there will be a few who would like to avoid Ali in the next round.
MAGUIRE SURVIVES SCARE AGAINST PETTMAN
STEPHEN Maguire stumbled into the last 32 of the World Open in Glasgow after a dramatic last frame against Stuart Pettman.
After leading 2-1 Maguire had to sit and suffer as Pettman, the world number 48 fired in a decisive break of 58 to take the match into a deciding frame. Pettman, buoyed up with the booster of levelling the match swiftly went 48-17 in front of the Scotsman who seemed ill at ease at playing in front of his local supporters. And when Maguire missed a relatively simple red to the centre it looked as if Stuart was set for victory – and Maguire heading for an early exit.
But lady luck was to take a hand in the destiny of the match as Pettman went in off, leaving three reds on the table. Stepping in Maguire closed to 48-32 with just the colours on the table. And here Maguire was to throw another chance the way of Pettman as he left the Preston man with a mid length yellow. Sinking it Pettman was left with the remainder of the colours. As he tried to roll the green into the top corner he could only turn away in disppointment as the green stayed in the jaws of the pocket. With the table at his mercy Maguire held his nerve to sink green to black and snatch a place in the last 32.
EBDON ENDS DAVIS HOPES
PETER Ebdon continued his run of form with a 3-1 defeat of Steve Davis.
The two former world champions squared off in the evening session of day 1 of the 12bet.com world open and it was to be Ebdon who proved the stronger as he outplayed the six times world champion.
But it could all have been so different had Steve taken the opening frame had he potted the final red with the rest. Leading 45-32 with one red left it was just off the cushion, tough but pottable. As the red jawed in the pocket and rolled away Ebdon soon had Davis in big trouble when he fluked a snooker on the final red. Davis sized up his escape options and hit the brown rather than the red. To make matters worse the red was left in a pottable position and Ebdon needed no second inviation as he cleared to the black to win it.
Buoyed up with his stroke of fortune Ebdon dominated the second to leave Steve needing to win all three of the remaining frames.
But Steve was in no mood to exit with a whimper and kept Ebdon away from the table in frame three thanks to breaks of 34 and 43 to extract the concession from the world number 17. Still Steve had a mountain to climb – and if he was going to get past base camp he needed a fast start in the fourth frame.
Peter though had swiftly regrouped after losing the third and soon put an end to any hopes Davis may have had of forcing a decider as he kept Davis firmly in his seat to seal a 3-1 victory and with it a place in the last 32.
HAROLD SHOCKS MURPHY
DAVE Harold produced some of his best snooker for some time to send former world champion Shaun Murphy crashing out of the World Open.
Harold who has one ranking tournament victory to his name unleashed a potting spree that stunned Murphy who was allowed to do nothing but sit in his seat for the three frames he was frozen out of.
Harold managed to subdue Murphy in 36 minute opener that went his way. Murphy still struggling for form never seemed at ease with the occasion and Harold took full advantage of it by rifling in breaks of 67 and 76 to wrap up the match in just under an hour.
BJORN MEETS HIS WATERLOO
STEPHEN Hendry exacted a ruthless revenge on Bjorn Hanaveer as he moved into the last 32 of the 12bet.com World Open.
Hendry who had lost to Hanaveer in Furth a few weeks prior to Glasgow set about his opponent in quick fashion in the opening frame as he posted breaks of 28 and 55. Hanaveer was not without his chances and really should have done better when left in at close range only to miss a red with the rest.
Hendry was quickly into his stride in the second frame and made 52 before being forced into safety. Hanaveer had a chance to counter when Hendry missed an easy red but could only amass 21 as they came down to the final red and the colours with the scores showing 29-58. Hanaveer taking the brown off the final red managed to miss it and leave it sitting in the jaws of the corner pocket. Even more bizaarely the yellow found it’s way to the jaws. Hanaveer played a clever safety and left Hendry snookered. In trying to come off the cushion Hendry struck the brown and potted it. Surely Hanaveer would seize his chance this time? He didn’t and after snookering himself on the brown promptly threw Hendry an opportunity by leaving the brown straight down the cushion. Hendry seized it and sunk the blue and pink to snatch the frame back from the clutches of the Belgian.
And Belgian resistance was well and truly broken as Hanaveer found himself in deep trouble from the break off in the third frame as Hendry tucked him up behind the green with the reds well spread. Hanaveer made eight attempts to extricate himself from trouble, conceding 35 points in the process and then fatally on his ninth left an easy red for the Scotsman. Pouncing on the error Hendry hammered in a match winning break of 76 to wrap up a 3-0 victory and set up a showdown with Mark Davis in the last 32.
WILLIAMS WALTZES PAST SAMBA KING FIGUEIREDO
MARK Williams took just little over an hour to dismiss the challenge of Brazilian Igor Figueiredo.
Williams, the world number 8 faced off against the world number 65 Figueiredo who when inroduced sported a smile the size of the Amazon. Unfortunately he was soon lose his sunny smile as Williams blasted through the opening frame with an 80 break. Yet we were treated to a little cameo from Figueiredo who put together a run of 42 – albeit after the frame had ended as a contest.
Williams shot into a 46-7 lead in the second with bits and pieces with Figueiredo mounting a small counter attack of 24 to leave the scores poised at 46-31 with one red left on the table. Taking a chance on a long red to the corner Igor struck it too thinly – and then had to watch in agony as the red trundles across the table to leave Williams with a mid length red to the corner. Williams doesn’t need gifts of this ilk and duly rolled the red in and cleared to the brown to increse his lead to 2-0.
Effectively it was all over as Williams wasted no time in completing the formalities with a break of 96 to set up an intriging showdown with Ali Carter in the last 32.
DING CRUSHES GUNNELL
DING Junhui swept into the last 32 of the World Open in Glasgow with a 3-0 destruction of Adrian Gunnell.
The world number 4 was in commanding form against Gunnell who after being frozen out of the first frame which Ding took with a break of 53 contributed to his own downfall in the following frames with some careless mistakes when in the balls.
Ding was first in with a 34 in the second frame but twitched on and missed a pink to the corner. Gunnell, at last allowed a chance couldn’t make the most of it and missed a cuttable red to the top corner pocket to hand the initiative back to the Chinese number 1. Ding doesn’t need presents of this ilk and dispatched the red and fired in a 47 to account for the second frame and lead 2-0 in just over half an hour.
Gunnell, looking demoralised was to regret a misjudged safety to let Ding in with a simple red to the corner and Ding was to waste little time in completing the formalities as he stroked in a break 58 to complete victory and put himself through to the next round where he will meet Jimmy Michie for a place in the last 16.
WHITE BATTLES PAST DAVISON
JIMMY White battled past Paul Davison to reach the last 32 of the world open with a 3-1 victory.
White, though did not have things his own way as he was forced to sit in his chair and watch Davison take the opener with a 65 break. Frame 2 though was a tight tactical affair that with the scores showing 49-32 in the Whirlwind’s favour. Only one red was left on the table and he cleared up with 27, which culminated in a confident shot on the pink to seal the frame.
White, grew in confidence as Davison’s seemed to wilt and another tight frame saw the hammer blow befall Paul in cruel fashion. With just the colours on the table Davsion fluked the yellow and followed up with green, brown and blue – but crucially was unable to get ideal position on the pink when he left himself tight under the side cushion. As he overcut the pink White was out of his chair like a greyhound and dispatched the remaining colours to steal the frame in 44 minutes.
But it was far from fluent from Jimmy as both he and and Paul struggled to maintain any rhythm at the table. As Jimmy built a lead of 45-17 there were three reds left on the table, he picked off two of the reds and was now close to victory. On more red would seal it and when Davison left the red to the centre pocket White made no mistake. This left Davsion needing four snookers. He got two of them as White first went in off and then failed to escape from a snooker. Davison continued to fight for snookers but he was finally thwarted when Jimmy fluked the green and followed with brown and blue to close out the match 3-1 and move into the last 32 where he could play Ronnie O’Sullivan – that is provided that Ronnie beats Mark King of course.
HAWKINS EDGES DRAMATIC DECIDER
BARRY Hawkins snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Mark Selby as he came through a dramatic final frame shoot out.
The drama that was to come was signified as early as the first frame as Selby won it on a re-spotted black having earlier missed a frame ball pink which clearly deviated from its true line when rolling over a finger mark en route to the middle bag to leave the counter open to Barry. Hawkins’s attempt at a double on the re-spot left it sitting over the corner pocket and Selby despatched it for a 1-0 lead.
Hawkins though remained unruffled and promptly stormed through the second frame with a total clearance of 127, and duly went 2-1 up when he rolled in a dead weight red from tight under the baulk cushion and made 92. Hawkins was in inspired form and had chances to wrap it up in the fourth frame as among the balls he missed a straight forward black off the spot and promptly handed Selby a lifeline. Grabbing it with both hands Selby rubbed salt into Barry’s wounds with 109 clearance to level the match at 2-2 and send it into a final frame shootout.
Incredibly there was more drama to come in the shootout as Selby spurned three chances for victory. Leading by 32-0 he had to watch as Hawkins reduced the deficit to 23-32 with just two reds left on the table. Selby dispatched the first with a pink. The final one was just off the top cushion, and he left himself a tricky cutback. To oohs and aahs he missed it and left the red hanging over the pocket. Hawkins steadied himself and sank it and followed with green and yellow only to snooker himself on the green. Selby though was to hand him another chance when he caught his resulting safety too thick and left Hawkins with a shot to nothing. Taking his chance Hawkins sank the green and followed with brown, blue and pink to seal a 3-2 win and set up a match with Ken Doherty.
O’SULLIVAN HITS MAXIMUM
RONNIE O’Sullivan hit a maximum break in the final frame of his 3-0 victory over Mark King as he powered his way into the last 32 of the World Open.
The Rocket then hinted that he may walk away from the game if he would not be allowed to be selective on what tournaments he chose to play.
That Mark King was dismissed inside 50 minutes now seems a sideshow as the Rocket admitted that he had misgivings about completing the maximum and in particular what, if any, prize would go with it.
The 147 itself was as perfect as you could see. After a long straight red for openers followed by a black, the Rocket halted proceedings as he enquired about the prize fund for a maximum to the disbelief of his opponent who could only helplessly look on. With all eyes in the press room firmly trained on the tv monitor a further fourteen reds and blacks disappeared with relative ease, and as the Rocket approached the colours so the excitement mounted in the arena.
The yellow, green, brown and blue were dismissed with ease and then the pink. Surely just now the formality of the black? But then Ronnie turned to Mark King shook hands and was about to leave the arena, job done until referee Jan Verhaas told him to pot the last black for his fans and the 10th 147 of his professional career in one of the most extraordinary maximum breaks ever seen.
This concludes the round of 64. The draw for the last 32 was made on the Sunday night and the story of the round will continue in the next blog.
Suzy Jardine, Glasgow